We had paid for a superior room, which we did find disappointing. Very basic furnishing and window other than that through the glass in our door. This made it feel very claustrophobic. This was room 108. Avoid it at all costs. Bathroom was a good size, though, but overall it felt cell like due to no window and no view. There is a variety of accommodation in the resort so i'm sure it's possible to get a better room. However, for the money we spent £250 p/night it was very basic accommodation. We did complain and to be fair they offered to move us for the last two nights (we were only there for 4), but given that we couldn't be moved immediately, you lose incentive to move later. They only negative was that the staff didn't chase us up to move us on the set day and when we didn't go back to reception they were happy to leave us in the original room.
However, the staff in general were very good. The facilities seemed great (yoga, tennis, bikes, riding, swimming pool). We can't comment on these in any detail as we didn't use them, given that we were there for only 4 days. There was however, a small supermarket in the resort which was great - with fresh bread and pizzas at night - this seemed very popular with those staying with families. The restaurant in the hotel - was good, but not amazing value. Breakfast was 14 euros a head and was basic italian fare - cake, pastries, juice, cheese and ham. I've had much better. I would recommend going to the supermarket and buying some fresh bread and jam. In fact, if i was going again, I'd stop at one of the big supermarkets on the way up to the resort and stock up.
The best beach was Calanova - secluded and had a fantastic restaurant (open at 12.30 for lunch and later for dinner) - we ate there every day at lunch and never had a bad meal, and a cheaper bar which served more basic food from about 10am.
the lifequard keeps the beach spotlessly clean and you can rent two beds for 25 euros including a bottle of water. You can rent pedal boats. Recommend taking a snorkel and shoes to wear in the water. Water is crystal clear and very clean.
It's is true that the resort is at the top of a hill and accessible by car only. Equally that the beaches are a long walk if on foot and an easy bike ride down, but a killer bike ride up. I would definitely recommend hiring a car at Pisa airport, driving to Piombino to catch the ferry and then drive to hotel (about 30-40 mins) though you do need your wits about you. At the roundabout at the top of Capoliveri you take the 3rd exit and folllow this road all the way to the top. the tarmac gives way to unsurfaced road and spectacular views. It is quite wide, but not for the faint - hearted. It is ok if you take it easy and look ahead for other cars. I am used to mountainous roads, but I have to admit to feeling a little uneasy at times. we managed it fine in our hired fiat 500. The resort does offer shuttle buses to the beach, but a car is a real bonus as it gives you freedom to explore. After days on the beach we drove off to Portoferraio and had a delicious meal at a local restaurant a short walk from the port, called Enoteca Gustavino. The host was fabulous and the food was incredible in terms of taste and value. We both had seafood antipasti to start with (including anchovies, octopus and mussels). I had spaghetti with clams and chilli (the best) and my husband had chickpea and cod soup which he loved and he's not that into fish, so it was definitely good. We had beer and wine and it was just over 50 euros. Another night we ate in Capoliveri at La Taverna dei Poeti and again had a great meal, though this was more expensive than Gustavino and I probably preferred my food at Gustavino. It was however, a great experience with the expansive host and his obvious passion for the food that was served. The fish is caught locally by his father. There is also steak and pork for those who are fed up with fish!!
Overall, while our room was disappointing value for money, the resort still scored high as it offered us just what we wanted: peace and quiet, great beach at Calanova with delicious beach side food. Can't fault the service especially at Calanova beach.
If you can't stomach windy, mountain side roads this is not the resort for you!
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- Also Known As:
- Tenuta Delle Ripalte Elba Island/Capoliveri, Italy